Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
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Loughborough University

Health and wellbeing

Alcohol

Wine glasses (4862996)

Alcohol is part of our society and people drink for all kinds of reasons, both good and bad.

Drinking moderately can have a positive effect on your health and well-being, however consuming over the recommended daily amounts cannot.

By understanding the facts around alcohol, this can help to stay within the healthy limits and maintain positive health and wellbeing.

How do I know if I am drinking too much?

Alcoholic drinks are measured in units, with one unit equalling 10ml of pure alcohol.

Government guidelines suggest men drink no more than 3-4 units per day and women no more then 2-3 units.

To put this into perspective, a large spirit measure contains 2 units, a standard pint of lager 2.8 and a large glass of wine 3.

Check your intake using the Alcohol Unit Calculator.

As well as unit intake, you should asses the timing, attitudes and behaviour factors of your drinking using the NHS Alcohol Tool.

This could help to identify risk, even if you are not over recommended amounts.

What are the risks?

There are many health problems, both physical and psychological, associated with regular over-consumption of alcohol. This includes some long term, potentially fatal conditions such as cancer, stroke, liver disease and dementia.

The risks of excessive drinking also extend into lifestyle related problems such as anxiety, financial trouble, accidents and violence.

For more detailed information visit Drink Aware.

If you are worried about any of the above, or have been regularly drinking over the recommended daily amounts, it will be beneficial to visit your Local Health Service for a check-up.

Alcohol support services

The short term effects and lifestyle impacts of excessive drinking are mostly reversible, so it is important to utilise the support and resource available at any time that it will help with cutting back.

Top tips for cutting back

  • Avoid rounds as they encourage drinking faster
  • Stick to clear drinks as they don’t contain congeners which worsen negative effects
  • Alternate soft drinks with alcoholic drinks, and switch to soft towards the end of the night
  • Join an evening physical activity to ensure social time away from alcohol, and to give you a natural mood boost